Editorial: I Want Another Zelda

I want another Zelda game.

Okay, so there are a lot of things I want from Nintendo these days, but that’s an editorial for another day. The Legend of Zelda is my all-time favorite videogame series. This is part of the reason why Nintendo’s actions of late have pained me so grievously. While they’re busy pandering to all the suckers “casual gamers,” my favorite game series is being neglected… and as a result, so am I.

“But Riddles, how can you say that? They just announced a new Zelda game at teh GDC!”

Yes. I know this. What was it called again… (wow, I can’t even remember…)

Finally, a Zelda for trainset enthusiasts.
Finally, a Zelda for trainset enthusiasts.

Oh, that’s right. Spirit Tracks. As you can tell, I’m ALL kinds of excited for that. After all, I’ve always wanted to play a Zelda game in which I could “explore” the world on a set of predetermined TRAIN TRACKS. Gee, Nintendo… rely on gimmicks much?

Rhetorical question of course; cheap, attractive gimmicks pretty much describe Nintendo’s business model these days. Even Phantom Hourglass, which I enjoyed, fell victim to this. The stylus controls worked, and were occasionally fun to play with, but they greatly oversimplified the traditional Zelda control scheme, making the gameplay (particularly the combat) feel rather cheap and unrewarding. And don’t even get me STARTED on blatant gimmicks such as the candle blowing and “map pressing.” (Or whatever the hell it was when the game made you close and re-open the DS.) In my eyes, there was no “innovation” found in Phantom Hourglass; just a lot of dumbing down.

The last satisfactory Zelda title we received was Twilight Princess. Twilight Princess was a technically flawless Zelda title that tried a little too hard to be Ocarina of Time 2, but in any case, it’s a much better example of what I want from Nintendo than Spirit Tracks.

Remember Nintendo’s E3 2008 Press Conference? (You should, it was quite the exercise in tragic hilarity.) The only thing I took away from that trainwreck was Satoru Iwata’s promise that the Zelda and Mario teams were “hard at work” on games for the Wii. But to be frank, I wonder if they’ve even given the slightest thought to the next console Zelda title, because God knows they don’t need to. People like me now represent a negligible minority in their fanbase. All we get are empty promises and gnawed-on bones in the form of Link’s Choo-Choo Conducting Adventure.


  1. Oh I totally think they’re hard at work on a new Zelda. Miyamoto has talked about it and even mentioned that the series needs a re haul. Which I completely agree with…and that’s why I DON’T want a new Zelda right now.
    They had the right idea with Ocarina of Time: They were working on a completely new way to approach the series, so they took their sweet time.
    Now I realize that WiiMotionPlus isn’t the same jump as 2D to 3D was, but I really don’t want them to rush this. Twilight Princess was perfect Zelda gameplay with mediocre personality. Like you said, it was too obsessed with being OoT2.
    They’ve also mentioned that Galaxy2 is very likely, so I’d far prefer that announcement at E3. Give me a proper break from Zelda and come at it fresh and blow me away.

  2. I think it’s fair to say that the Zelda games are the most overrated in all of videogames. They have much in common with Dragon Quest games in that they drag on FOREVER.

    I liked the original. I even kind of liked Adventure of Link despite it’s many flaws. I liked A Link to the Past, but it was waaaaay to damn long. OoT followed that up with another that was waaaay too long by the time you got to the water dungeon.

    Every Zelda since has been too long or just gimmick spam and terrible.

    I really wish Nintendo would get together with Sega and they could have a Mascot Drowning Party together. Sharing buckets so as to conserve water. Instead of hashing out derivative mediocre remake after derivative mediocre remake.

  3. @Ethos: You’re letting your fanboy side show again.

    @Noob: More likely Wii Fit: Zelda Edition. That’ll sell more.

  4. Perhaps Wii Fit: Zelda and Wii Music: Mario could make a cross over game, that way you could ape playing a poor facimilie of a musical instrument while performing arbitrary sillyness on the balance board to the rythem of your favourite mascott catchcry. That would be so gimmicky it could not fail to sell another trillion Wii’s.

  5. If Nintendo’s doing a Zelda crossover, they’ll have to pull in a more mainstream property than Mario. I’m waiting for the game where Princess Zelda is replaced with Hannah Montana. The game could culminate in an epic dance-off against Ganon, possibly using the balance board and Wii-motion plus.

  6. Lol that could only spell pure win…..And you know this year the Time online poll ranked Miley Cyrus as being more influential than Miyamoto so perhaps Nintendo can get her to design the game, and all Zelda and Mario games from now on.

  7. @Ethos: you talk like Nintendo is interested in keeping their “promises” to the hardcore these days.

    And Nintendo’s idea of a “revolution” was an outdated box with waggle controls. Do you really think this “re-haul” they speak of will be anything special, if it even comes to pass?

  8. KNowing Nintendo there next big Zelda game will be something like….

    Zelda: High Rule – Look! Link on a plane! You draw where he flies!

  9. @Oyashiro – Another lol! You’re on a roll

    @Rids – Miyamoto talking Zelda is different than Reggie and Iwata talking Revolution. And yes, for the time being, I still think Nintendo is interested in paying close attention to their big two (Mario and Zelda). It, for better or worse, keeps even the biggest critics buying. (I’ll buy both, you’ll buy Zelda). This time your pessimism and hatred for Nintendo is slightly clouding your vision.

    @MC – You throw the term around a little too loosely. People are allowed to enjoy games and praise them without being condemned to fanboyism.
    Like Zero Punctuation: I start to wonder if people like that are fans of video games at all since they don’t seem to like anything.

  10. @Ethos: this is the same Miyamoto whose supposed genius has been reduced to brainstorming garbage like Wii Music.

    His words are no more trustworthy to me than Reggie’s or Iwata’s. Even less so, perhaps, since I’m becoming more and more convinced the man is going senile.